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Become A Biomedical Equipment Specialist

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Working As A Biomedical Equipment Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • $95,611

    Average Salary

What Does A Biomedical Equipment Specialist Do

Medical equipment repairers install, maintain, and repair patient care equipment.

Duties

Medical equipment repairers typically do the following:

  • Install medical equipment
  • Test and calibrate parts and equipment
  • Repair and replace parts
  • Perform preventive maintenance and service
  • Keep records of maintenance and repairs
  • Review technical manuals and regularly attend training sessions
  • Explain and demonstrate how to operate medical equipment
  • Manage replacement of medical equipment

Medical equipment repairers, also known as biomedical equipment technicians (BMET), repair a wide range of electronic, electromechanical, and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and health practitioners’ offices. They may work on patient monitors, defibrillators, ventilators, anesthesia machines, and other life-supporting equipment. They also may work on medical imaging equipment (x rays, CAT scanners, and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs. In addition, they repair medical equipment that dentists and eye doctors’ use.

If a machine has problems or is not functioning to its potential, repairers first diagnose the problem. They then adjust the mechanical, electronic, or hydraulic parts or modify the software in order to recalibrate the equipment and fix the issue.

To do their work, medical equipment repairers use a variety of tools. Most use hand tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, and soldering irons. Others use electronic tools, such as multimeters (an electronic measuring device that combines several measures) and computers. Much of the equipment that they maintain and repair use specialized test-equipment software. Repairers use this software to calibrate the machines.

Many doctors, particularly specialty practitioners, rely on complex medical devices to run tests and diagnose patients, and they must be confident that the readings are accurate. Therefore, medical equipment repairers sometimes perform routine scheduled maintenance to ensure that sophisticated equipment, such as x-ray machines and CAT scanners, are in good working order. For less complicated equipment, such as electric hospital beds, workers make repairs as needed.

In a hospital setting, medical equipment repairers must be comfortable working around patients because repairs occasionally must take place while equipment is being used. When this is the case, the repairer must take great care to ensure that their work activities do not disturb patients.

Although some medical equipment repairers are trained to fix a variety of equipment, others specialize in repairing one or a small number of machines.

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How To Become A Biomedical Equipment Specialist

Employers generally prefer candidates who have an associate’s degree in biomedical technology or engineering. Depending on the area of specialization, repairers may need a bachelor’s degree, especially for advancement.

Education

Education requirements for medical equipment repairers vary, depending on a worker’s experience and area of specialization. However, the most common education is an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Those who repair less-complicated equipment, such as hospital beds and electric wheelchairs, may learn entirely through on-the-job training, sometimes lasting up to 1 year. Repairers who work on more sophisticated equipment, such as CAT scanners and defibrillators, may need a bachelor’s degree.

Training

New workers generally observe and help experienced repairers for 3 to 6 months to start. As they learn, workers gradually become more independent while still under supervision.

Each piece of equipment is different, so medical equipment repairers must learn each one separately. In some cases, this requires studying a machine’s technical specifications and operating manual. Medical device manufacturers also may provide technical training.

Medical equipment technology is rapidly evolving, and new devices are frequently introduced. Repairers must continually update their skills and knowledge of new technologies and equipment through seminars and self-study. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may also offer training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate competence and professionalism, making candidates more attractive to employers. It can also increase a repairer’s opportunities for advancement. Most manufacturers and employers, particularly those in hospitals, often pay for their in-house medical repairers to become certified.

Some associations offer certifications for medical equipment repairers. For example, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) offers certification in three specialty areas—Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES), and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Medical equipment repairers must effectively communicate technical information by telephone, in writing, and in person when speaking to clients, supervisors, and co-workers.

Dexterity. Many tasks, such as connecting or attaching parts and using hand tools, require a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Medical equipment repairers must be familiar with medical components and systems and how they interact. Often, repairers must disassemble and reassemble major parts for repair.

Physical stamina. Standing, crouching, and bending in awkward positions are common when making repairs to equipment. Therefore, workers should be physically fit.

Technical skills. Technicians use sophisticated diagnostic tools when working on complex medical equipment. They must be familiar with both the equipment’s internal parts and the appropriate tools needed to fix them.

Time-management skills. Because repairing vital medical equipment is urgent, workers must make good use of their time and perform repairs quickly.

Troubleshooting skills. As medical equipment becomes more intricate, problems become more difficult to identify. Therefore, repairers must be able to find and solve problems that are not immediately apparent.

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Biomedical Equipment Specialist Typical Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Biomedical Equipment Specialist
Supervisor 2.7%
Specialist 2.7%
Internship 1.8%
Top Careers After Biomedical Equipment Specialist
Bartender 3.1%

Do you work as a Biomedical Equipment Specialist?

Biomedical Equipment Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

84.1%

Female

14.3%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

9.6%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Welsh

25.0%

French

25.0%

Biomedical Equipment Specialist Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

13.5%

University of Phoenix

10.8%

Regis University

8.1%

Thomas Edison State University

8.1%

Medical Education and Training Campus

8.1%

Dakota County Technical College

5.4%

Drexel University

5.4%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

5.4%

Dana College

5.4%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

2.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.7%

Brown University

2.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.7%

National University

2.7%

Indiana State University

2.7%

El Paso Community College

2.7%

Roosevelt University

2.7%

Vincennes University

2.7%

Portland State University

2.7%

Vatterott College - Kansas City

2.7%
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Majors

Biomedical Engineering

18.5%

Electrical Engineering

16.0%

Business

13.6%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

13.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

7.4%

General Studies

6.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.7%

Biology

2.5%

Engineering Technology

2.5%

Computer Science

2.5%

Information Technology

2.5%

Information Sciences

1.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.2%

Medical Technician

1.2%

Manufacturing Engineering

1.2%

Project Management

1.2%

Religion

1.2%

Computer Information Systems

1.2%

Graphic Communications

1.2%

Marketing

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.0%

Other

23.0%

Associate

20.0%

Certificate

13.0%

Masters

6.0%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

2.0%
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Biomedical Equipment Specialist Videos

Becoming a Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET)

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Top Skills for A Biomedical Equipment Specialist

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Medical Equipment Reports
  3. Repair Actions
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed preventative maintenance on operating room equipment per facility maintenance schedule.
  • Prepare and submit medical equipment reports/documentation.
  • Maintained, repaired, installed, inspected and evaluated biomedical equipment throughout the medical center.
  • Inspected and performed electrical safety checks on new and loaner operating room equipment.
  • Recognized for performing well under pressure and troubleshooting equipment problems.

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